China's stance on Azhar despicable


The US had on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to the UNSC that would blacklist Masood Azhar as a...

The US had on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to the UNSC that would blacklist Masood Azhar as a terrorist, setting up a potential clash with China over the move. China, earlier this month, put on hold a request to put the JeM chief on the UN sanctions list over his ties to Al Qaeda.

That request stalled in the UN Sanctions Committee, prompting the US to turn directly to the Security Council with the proposed resolution blacklisting Azhar. It is strange that neither China nor Pakistan accepts the fact that it was Masood Azhar's module that owned up the terror attack in Pulwama.

On its part, Pakistan has also denied Indian government's 91-page proof of Masood Azhar's involvement in Pulwama.

India had provided Pakistan with a point to point involvement proof of the JeM in the attack by citing mobile calls, locations of terror camps along with technical inputs that go to prove Masood Azhar's involvement. Only someone as blind as Pakistan and China could believe otherwise.

The draft resolution at the UN Security Council moved by the US not only condemns the suicide bombing but also seeks adding Masood Azhar's name to the UN Al Qaeda and Islamic sanctions blacklist.

However, it is not clear as of now when a vote would be held on the draft resolution, which could face a veto from China, one of the five permanent council members along with Britain, France, Russia and the United States.

Azhar is linked to terrorism for "participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities" carried out by JeM, according to an annex to the draft.

The draft resolution is backed by France and Britain, which joined the US earlier this month in pushing for sanctions against the JeM leader in the Al Qaeda and Islamic State committee.

There have been four attempts through the UN sanctions committee to add Azhar to the blacklist. China blocked three previous requests and put a technical hold on the latest one, which could last up to nine months.

JeM itself has been on the UN terror list since 2001 and remains a proscribed entity in Pakistan since 2002.

Significantly, the UN Security Council has also adopted a resolution that calls upon countries to prevent and counter the financing of terrorism, especially in its new forms. Initiated by France, Resolution 2462 is intended to update existing resolutions and adapt them to new forms of financing of terrorism and new challenges in this field.

The resolution notes with concern that terrorists may abuse legitimate businesses and non-profit organisations for their activities, and make use of emerging payment methods, such as prepaid cards and mobile payments or virtual assets.

It also expresses concern at the continuing use by terrorists and their supporters of information and communications technologies, in particular the internet, to facilitate terrorist acts, as well as inciting, recruiting, funding, or planning terrorist acts.

China will be guilty if it continues to stand against international opinion for petty gains. It should realise that it has a skewed policy towards terrorism.

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